The Student Room Group

Should the Languages we learn in school be different???Debate

Ok, so hear me out. I believe that we should learn the languages of our country rather then learn other peoples language from different countries! So basically i believe that instead of learning Spanish or French or other languages we learn in school, we school learn (in the uk) BSL. I think that not enough people know BSL and its a great way to communicate with others around us and is very beneficial for our self's! And if not BSL why not Morse code? This is my opinion but what is your opinion on this matter, really interested in what people will say to this.
Original post by Larysa2008
Ok, so hear me out. I believe that we should learn the languages of our country rather then learn other peoples language from different countries! So basically i believe that instead of learning Spanish or French or other languages we learn in school, we school learn (in the uk) BSL. I think that not enough people know BSL and its a great way to communicate with others around us and is very beneficial for our self's! And if not BSL why not Morse code? This is my opinion but what is your opinion on this matter, really interested in what people will say to this.

Foreign languages that are taught in schools are far more useful than BSL.
Nah I think that pupils should learn a foreign language earlier (mandatory from Reception unless you have learning difficulties and/or English isn't your first language) and then under all circumstances not be made to do a language at KS4 level and above (i.e it should be your choice if you'd like to a language at GCSE level and above. No more of this Pathway 1 Vs Pathway 2 (Vs Pathway 3) nonsense when it comes to selecting your GCSE options).
Original post by Talkative Toad
Nah I think that pupils should learn a foreign language earlier (mandatory from Reception unless you have learning difficulties and/or English isn't your first language) and then under all circumstances not be made to do a language at KS4 level and above (i.e it should be your choice if you'd like to a language at GCSE level and above. No more of this Pathway 1 Vs Pathway 2 (Vs Pathway 3) nonsense when it comes to selecting your GCSE options).


Could not agree with this more -> I don't understand why such a concept is so hard to grasp for education ministers - teaching kids from a young age to appreciate and learn languages as opposed to forcing them.
Original post by Larysa2008
Ok, so hear me out. I believe that we should learn the languages of our country rather then learn other peoples language from different countries! So basically i believe that instead of learning Spanish or French or other languages we learn in school, we school learn (in the uk) BSL. I think that not enough people know BSL and its a great way to communicate with others around us and is very beneficial for our self's! And if not BSL why not Morse code? This is my opinion but what is your opinion on this matter, really interested in what people will say to this.

Imagine how powerless our country would be if the rest of the world stopped learning English and focused on their own country’s core languages.
No.
I don't agree with the mandatory teaching of any language except english in uk schools and colleges.
I'd prefer teaching primary school - y9 aged children mandatory lessons in: basic first aid, fire safety, cooking skills and some information about what is allowed & forbidden by national laws (as regards the internet/smartphones/selfies/consent and harassment).
Original post by replaythat
Could not agree with this more -> I don't understand why such a concept is so hard to grasp for education ministers - teaching kids from a young age to appreciate and learn languages as opposed to forcing them.

i don't get either. Saw kids in my French class who were desparate to drop the subject but couldn't do that until late on in Y11 (Ebacc was forced on us), just silly especially considring that my GCSE French teacher was the only French teacher in the school.
I think a modern foreign language should be taught at a young age (primary) but become optional later on (GCSEs) so that people will have tried it and they can make the decision to continue it or not themselves. In exchange for (or in addition to) a language, I think students should have undergo skills courses that will benefit them later whilst at school, rather than at another point in their lives.
Original post by Talkative Toad
i don't get either. Saw kids in my French class who were desparate to drop the subject but couldn't do that until late on in Y11 (Ebacc was forced on us), just silly especially considring that my GCSE French teacher was the only French teacher in the school.


The biggest problem in schools, is the fact they glorify the Ebacc selling it by saying "The Ebacc will open you plenty of doors" when in fact this is not true, most universities couldn't give a damn if you did the Ebacc or not. I absolutely whole heartedly regret doing German, I strongly believe that if I was taught at a young age then I would simply fall in to love with languages, but the very fact I was forced to sit the exams (learnt absolutely nothing) and came out with just a bare 4 (which is good) but considering that I was at consistent 7s and 8s it simply wasn't good enough. Whilst, the university I am currently at did not care about my language grade, I believe it significantly hindered the fact I wasn't able to get more interviews -> applied for a competitive course. You mention about languages teachers, there is actually very few teachers, not to mention a small amount of actually good teachers. It is quite embarrassing whenever I go Europe, the people over there can speak their own language as well perfect English.
Original post by londonmyst
No.
I don't agree with the mandatory teaching of any language except english in uk schools and colleges.
I'd prefer teaching primary school - y9 aged children mandatory lessons in: basic first aid, fire safety, cooking skills and some information about what is allowed & forbidden by national laws (as regards the internet/smartphones/selfies/consent and harassment).

Your point about basic first aid etc.. is quite a good one. If schools could factor one lesson a week and table it as learning for life -> kids will benefit from it so much. Though, I do believe it should continue until they end formal education with further teaching during sixth form, where students are a lot maturer and will have a greater understanding.
Original post by replaythat
The biggest problem in schools, is the fact they glorify the Ebacc selling it by saying "The Ebacc will open you plenty of doors" when in fact this is not true, most universities couldn't give a damn if you did the Ebacc or not. I absolutely whole heartedly regret doing German, I strongly believe that if I was taught at a young age then I would simply fall in to love with languages, but the very fact I was forced to sit the exams (learnt absolutely nothing) and came out with just a bare 4 (which is good) but considering that I was at consistent 7s and 8s it simply wasn't good enough. Whilst, the university I am currently at did not care about my language grade, I believe it significantly hindered the fact I wasn't able to get more interviews -> applied for a competitive course. You mention about languages teachers, there is actually very few teachers, not to mention a small amount of actually good teachers. It is quite embarrassing whenever I go Europe, the people over there can speak their own language as well perfect English.

i agree
Original post by Talkative Toad
Nah I think that pupils should learn a foreign language earlier (mandatory from Reception unless you have learning difficulties and/or English isn't your first language) and then under all circumstances not be made to do a language at KS4 level and above (i.e it should be your choice if you'd like to a language at GCSE level and above. No more of this Pathway 1 Vs Pathway 2 (Vs Pathway 3) nonsense when it comes to selecting your GCSE options).


Pathways are just something your school has invented
Original post by Muttley79
Pathways are just something your school has invented

nah some other schools have this nonsense too I think. Lord knows how I was put in pathway 1 considering my grades in all other subjects bar Maths and French. I just find the whole GCSE options pathways or the idea that that some pupils are forced to take a language at GCSE in certain schools because they are quote "more academic/academic enough to do so" nonsensical.

Your academics should have no bearing on whether you should be forced to take a certain GCSE (emphasis on certain GCSE and not certain number of GCSEs) subject against your will or not unless the subject is a core subject imo.
Original post by Muttley79
Pathways are just something your school has invented

Loads of schools have pathways. I think it’s good tbh
Original post by Talkative Toad
nah some other schools have this nonsense too I think. Lord knows how I was put in pathway 1 considering my grades in all other subjects bar Maths and French. I just find the whole GCSE options pathways or the idea that that some pupils are forced to take a language at GCSE in certain schools because they are quote "more academic/academic enough to do so" nonsensical.

Your academics should have no bearing on whether you should be forced to take a certain GCSE (emphasis on certain GCSE and not certain number of GCSEs) subject against your will or not unless the subject is a core subject imo.

I've never heard of it around where I am - it's certainly not a National system.

We give a free choice after the basics.
Original post by HalalSafwan
Loads of schools have pathways. I think it’s good tbh

Why? The Ebacc is an invention of Michael Gove - it's meaningless.
Original post by HalalSafwan
Loads of schools have pathways. I think it’s good tbh

I disagree strongly with this (as in the idea of the school putting you in a certain pathway).
Original post by Muttley79
I've never heard of it around where I am - it's certainly not a National system.

We give a free choice after the basics.

your area is lucky then.


maybe we should create a separate thread for this topic? (so that we don't derail this one too much).
I think the way languages are taught is the problem - they're handled as just another subject and just another GCSE - when that's nonsensical. This is the biggest turnoff and there is nothing stupider than compelling children to take a foreign language they have no interest in. I think MFLs should be taken out of the GCSE system and taught as curricular options where students are allocated x amount of time and within that they can take as many or as few as they like, and this time can can include English, BSL or whatever if they don't fancy MFLs. It should take the form of conversation clubs, reading magazines, TV, film - whatever - but not the system we currently have. At the end, you are assessed and receive a cert of basic, intermediate or whatever - just to say "I can get across basic ideas in French" or "I can give a seminar on electrical engineering in Portugeuse".

Ultimately, that's what people want to know, and what is going to benefit you the most. Employers want to know if you are capable of speaking to a client or just understanding an email. For yourself, you want to know that you can complain in a restaurant in Milan or get a refund from a shop in Madrid.
Exactly! If we learned languages earlier, we’d not have such huge issues with student retention and we’d actually be on the path to fluency by the time we reach GCSE. A policy does exist for every student to receive language education in two languages, one in Year 2 and the second starts in Year 7 (the 1+2 Approach) but I think it’s almost non-existent. If I was Education Secretary I would mandate all nursery and primary teachers learn a major language alongside their university degree so that in the classroom, maybe eg science could be taught in French and Maths in English. Other schools do it and it’s extremely successful!!

Original post by replaythat
Could not agree with this more -> I don't understand why such a concept is so hard to grasp for education ministers - teaching kids from a young age to appreciate and learn languages as opposed to forcing them.

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